MightyBands, home gym system

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Disappointed Experience

So I was forwarded some feedback regarding the experience someone had of the Wing Tsun school that I train at. And to sum it up, the guy did not really like the school all that much.

Now before I show you what he said, I want you to know that I'm all for criticism and people's own opinions. There are many that find that wing tsun is not for them, or the teaching methods of the school is not good or whatever. But, in this case, the story below was stretched SOOO far from the truth that I have no choice but to respond.

I've responded on my own merit, not under anyone's influence. In other words, my Si-Fu has not asked me to post this (nor does he know what topics I write about until it's posted).

Here's what he had to say about his open house experience (free trial classes we offer every month):

I just had a very scary and disappointed experience in the Wing Chun studio in 6564 Victoria Drive. I had Wing Chun experience before, but didn't seem to understand their teaching process. One of the assistance instructor was doing Chi Sau with me. He told me many times to relaxed, but himself appeared to be angry.
I was relaxed and I didn't know what I do wrong, but this guy suddenly got freaked out and hit me and strangle me. I was scared. Isn't Wing Chun suppoed to be relaxed? I was relaxed and calm, I don't know why he got mad so easily? How come the assistance instructor couldn't even relaxed himself and tried to hurt me?
I was lucky that I didn't get killed by that guy while he was strangling me so hard. Overall it was a very scary and disappointed experience. I would not come back again and I will not recommend my friends to go there.
And I'm alerting your studio that if in the future my body condition has anything wrong, I would consider to deal with you guys by law.

Although I had the "pleasure" of training with him, he's not referring to me in this incident. But I do remember watching the two of them working together, and watching the entire ordeal unfold.

With my time with him, I can tell you he was not relaxed. In fact, I was working with him for about 35 minutes on basic one handed chi-sao (dan-chi) just to work on relaxing his arms. When he tensed up, I would gently push or pull, in which he would fall forward or backward. This happened a few times, but only as a way to signal him that his arms tense up.

He says, asks, that isn't wing chun supposed to be relaxed? Well, I repeat, he was not relaxed. To answer - yes, wing chun is supposed to be relaxed, but not weak. I mean, you got to hit the opponent right? One can be relaxed, but the structure must be strong. He is confusing the two.

With regards to the whole strangling issue - there was no choke hold, no sleeper hold that you'd see in MMA. Far from it. It's hard to describe on here, but what the "assistant instructor" did was what we call "soft control" methods. Kind of like how cops are trained not to hit, but control the body of the assailant. It controls the axis of the opponent in a way that he can't hurt you and in a way where you don't HIT him either.

Skill-wise, this "assistant instructor" could hit anyone if we wanted to. Knowing him, he's the nicest guy you'd ever meet! Always smiling, always joking around. He's worked with new students and older students, helps run class, etc. He is no bully. Bullies are not welcomed in our school, nor would they have the character/discipline to get through the curriculum. What we did was a natural reaction against a tense assailant. And when it comes to chi-sao, especially a new-comer who feels they have something to prove, they always get tense and try to do things to get the hit. As such, the "assistant instructor" did not hit back, instead resorted to soft control methods.

Unfortunately, it was interpreted as a strangle. I will tell you right now, any judoka, bjj practitioner, wrestler would laugh at this guy for claiming to be strangled. Don't insult the grappler or skill martial artist - that was not a strangle.

To add, - although he was really tense, he was also really weak. When I would give him a light "fist-touch", he would say I'm hurting him. When I poked his ribs (which I resorted to, because he didn't want me to use the fist) to show him he's exposed, he said I was hurting him and that I would break something.

If you sign up for self-defense class, for kung fu class...wouldn't you think that some physical contact be involved? The expression "glass jaw" comes to mind..but he's not even at "glass jaw" level..maybe more like "wet tissue".

As for not being able to "understand the teaching process": during the entire class, the guy was barely paying attention. His eyes were fixated on everything else but the lesson. He didn't want to train with the new guys and showed complete disrespect of the class structure and to my Si-Fu and just did whatever he wanted. He didn't want to do what the beginners were doing and opted, on his own, to train with the senior guys..

So yes, I know some of you are reading this and thinking that I'm making all this up to protect the school when, really, our school is some badass bully wing chun wannabe club.

Well, let me provide you exhibit A: Here's what a typical class is like. Note the diverse group of people in our class, various ages, fitness levels, height, weight, gender, etc. If we are as bad-ass as he says he is, why would these people even sign up for it?? How could the school even last this long? There is no strangling involved, no wild and uncontrolled hitting. In fact, there complete newbies in this clip and you can see how everyone is taking the time to learn the drill, co-operatively.

Thank you, person-that-provided-this-review. I want to say you've provided me with some great blogging material.

If you like what you see below, please check out the website here.


Unknown said...

As a liability adjuster, I am aware how things like this can come 'out of the woodwork' - especially when people are immediately faced with their own weaknesses and deficiencies. There are people who are simply looking for an excuse to sue. In an ideal school there would be a release when you walk in the door and cameras to record all contact (although this can also work against). I hope you guys never 'water down' the training - you are right - there is no other way to teach some of these things other than what is mentioned. How are you gonna know your off balance until you are pushed or pulled? Good article. LWS

Waz said...

This is way outta date I know, but I only just read it.

What can I say, guy sounds like a pussy looking for excuses to be a big man in some arena.

I witnessed something similar. A guy came to the class saying he was a BJJ senior student, and didn't we think Wing Chun was lacking in takedown/grappling defenses. So our instructor took him to the ground three times in a row. He wasn;t super gentle about it, figuring this "senior BJJ student" would know how to hit the ground at least.

Nope, he ended up with a split lip and a bad attitude. Maybe the instructor was a bit rough with him... but if you come to the lesson with a full cup, somethings gonna get spilled eh (~;

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